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How To Make Out by Brianna Shrum

Saturday, January 19, 2019
Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way.

So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with).

As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year.

Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.

Goodreads Summary

When Renley needs money to attend a math club trip she is nothing but resourceful. She creates a blog that allows people to send in money to have their questions answered. Despite not being an expert in many of the subjects that the questions ask about, she still accepts the money and attempts to become an expert (not that easy!). For whatever reason, Renley's newfound abilities gain her popularity. We all know that whenever something new comes along, often, something old must go. Will Renley choose her "new" life or "old" life? Or will she find a way to combine the two?

Renley's character both annoyed me and made me laugh. The lengths she went to and the trouble she caused herself was almost comical. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it's much easier to read and guess what will happen than to be embroiled on your own, but I usually guessed what was going to happen next and which choices she would make. I really disliked how callous she was to her best friend and Drew; it didn't seem necessary to hurt them like that. Drew's character was adorable. He was the ideal boy-next-door with charisma and a dose of handsome. I dislike love triangles, but this one did not ruin the plot for me (but be warned that there is a love triangle). The author has a way of writing that makes me feel as if I am back in high school. I liked that the author took on her characters and didn't merely write about them. 

4 Stars

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